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Candidates

Poem

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The booths are closed, nothing more to do.

O, give me back the promise of Tuesday,

they wail, each in a huge room where chairs

fold and stack themselves against the walls,

windows sleep under thin sheets of dust.

They watch a lop-sided moon slink

to the shivering lake, hear spouses moan

in sleep like rusty chains, remember hands

that gripped their joints until they ached

like lonely hearts. They stand invisible

at highway exits, waving their placards,

white-flag spooks flapping in wind, mouths

miming the empty circle, Vote, vote, vote.